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3 things NOT to do in an interview

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

You finally got the phone call - you are about to attend an interview. This is an opportunity for you to shine and to get that job. So, lets place our best foot forward and ace that interview.

Having interviewed hundreds of candidates over the years, and after much interaction with both candidates and managers, these are the 3 things you should not do in an interview.

1. Have no knowledge of the hiring company

It sounds so remarkably cliche to remind everyone not to do this, but you will be amazed at how many candidates turn up with little to no knowledge of the hiring company. Remember that knowledge of the company includes finding out for yourself the location of the company. In this day and age, there is little excuse for not being able to figure out how to get to the location especially in a country like Singapore. Do not let your interview commence with a negative impression of your inability to look for answers and to use a simple search on the Internet.

I have conducted interviews with candidates who have a 1-liner answer to my "what do you know about us?" question and then followed by a deafening radio silence. There is usually little reason to continue the interview from this point on.

2. Throw your past colleagues and bosses under the bus

No matter what your opinion is on whose fault it was that your last job was the toughest, hardest job on the planet, do not complain to your new hiring manager about your past colleagues or bosses. This is an interview about you - for hiring managers to suss out your personality and values. And someone who spends that valuable interview opportunity complaining is sending red flags of an indiscreet, complainer personality, which is not on most people's "want to hire" list.

3. Dress and behave sloppily

Some companies have no issues with casual dressing (but do your homework before you attend an interview in casual clothes), but regardless of casual vs formal - it cannot be sloppy. Even if its a collared tee, make sure the collared tee is neat, and not crumpled. If its jeans, it should not have holes anywhere regardless of the fashion trend. Hygiene is critical as well - hair, nails, and overall cleanliness is crucial. There is no excuse for it. It is about respect for the interviewer, the interviewer's time and the company you wish to be hired by.

Do note that the use of perfume and cologne needs to be moderated. Sometimes you may not realise how overpowering the scent is (especially when you have used the same scent for a long time) to others, and in a small confined room, be wary of causing an overpowering presence with your perfume.

Many interviews start way before you actually answer any questions. The interviewer has made mental notes before the first question has started. Remember that the entire process is not just about your interview prep for questions, but its an overall projection of your personality fit to the company. Good luck!


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